Explore the most popular lake trails near Idaho Springs with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Rocky climb via Spalding. It was very cold, windy, and foggy today near summit. The true summit is not well marked especially the last 80ft. Definitely nice views. We went down the easy way (Northeast face) as we did not pack gloves. We did it in less than 4 hours up and down with very short brake at the summit.

Loved the hike and the peaceful lake.

Short trail. Kinda packed with visitors. Pretty views.

Strenuous incline for the first mile (you start at 10,400ft.). The hike flattens out in the middle with 2 meadows filled with wildflowers. It finishes with an incline for the last mile or so to the alpine lake at 12,000 ft. You can continue on for unobstructed mountain views and little to no crowds.

A beautiful hike up, made it to the summit just before the weather came in. A wet hike down to the road but no problem.

hiking
2 days ago

Great hiking trail. Prepare yourself for the elevation gain but it’s well with it. Pups loved it too!

Nice hike with great views but heavily trafficked.

you walk along side a lake up to another lake. a cool and easy day hike with great views.

my favorite trail. starts out pretty easy but the last mile is pretty difficult. stick through it to be rewarded at the top. awesome flowers and water along the way to the top. easy to get to right off the highway.

Definitely listen to the other reviewers and drive to the lot at the start of the trailhead! Also, don’t forget to continue past the second lake up to the third! The view is so worth the climb and you’re practically all alone at the lake. Great spot to enjoy a picnic lunch.

The hike was absolutely beautiful! There were a lot of wildflowers and the views at certain points were breathtaking. It was certainly not an easy hike {especially if you’re pregnant}, but definitely worth it! A lot of cute doggos adventuring, too! :)

hiking
3 days ago

Did this trail in midJuly with an out of towner (from sea level) who had a tough time adjusting to the altitude change. We AWD our way up to the trailhead which was very rocky but doable in our vehicle. Beautiful wildflowers. First lake is pretty, can’t get to it d/t private property, can see almost the whole trail. Second lake was a bit of the way up, more closed off but beautiful. My visitor didn’t want to try for the third lake so we turned around and headed back.

I have used AllTrails for a long time, finally purchased it - just saying, why did I wait!

I did this trail today. I was impressed, given the use it gets, how clean it was. Around the trail head and at the lakes there was no trash. It gives me faith in outdoor humanity. It is a lovely hike. Good for young hikers.

hiking
4 days ago

I never tire of the view from the top. Great drive. Even better climb, but I am sure that it is somewhat of a sore spot when you go through all of the hard work to summit this 14teener only to see a giant parking lot at the top. Ha-ha!

hiking
4 days ago

I'm heading to Echo Lake this weekend to hike to Idaho Springs Reservoir. Can anyone tell me the water level of Chicago Creek as it enters the reservoir? We are looking to fly fish and don't want to waste time if the water levels are too low. Thanks! I'll leave an official comment after we return.

Beautiful trail - definitely spend some time by the lake if you can! I went in the afternoon on a weekday and it wasn't too busy.

hiking
5 days ago

Nice varied trail. Nice lake destination at the end. I arrived at 8am and there were only a few cars in the parking lot. I had the lake all to myself for a half hour, and then only 6 other people were there for the next half hour. On the way down I did pass 50 people hiking up. So maybe get there early because it is pretty peaceful. I wish people didn’t leave their dog poop bags all over the trails though. Just why????????

on Echo Lake Trail

hiking
5 days ago

Nice, somewhat crowded, trail that goes all the way around the lake. Kids really enjoyed it. Bathrooms are available at different points around the lake, making it user friendly for little ones, and big ones - ha,ha!

Beautiful not to difficult to hike up to the waterfall drive up on a 2015 Jeep Wrangler made it up fine

Gorgeous area. If going on the weekend, get there early, parking lot does fill up, and area from echo lake to the Idaho Springs reservoir can get quite busy. Well shaded, good distance, pretty lakes, creek, and reservoir. Also dog friendly, expect to see a few. Highly recommend this hike!

hiking
6 days ago

a beautiful hike

Wonderful trail! Always busy, get there early..

hiking
6 days ago

I started this hike at 7:30 a.m. (second car in the otherwise empty parking lot) on a Monday and returned somewhere between 1:15-1:30 p.m. This hike was definitely challenging for me as a flatlander and I had to stop to take breaks quite often. I also spent quite a long time up at the lake *maybe 45 minutes or longer) and took another longer break during my return at the reservoir to soak my feet before making the final uphill climb. I think this hike is moderate for people who live at altitude and hike regularly, or who are otherwise very fit. If you're not much of a fitness enthusiast and don't workout very often, this is going to be a very challenging hike. If you're fit-ish to average on physical activity, this hike is challenging.

It really surprised me to see so many folks without adequate hydration and starting later. Do yourself a favor and start by 7:30 a.m. because there isn't much shade after you get passed 10:30 a.m. All of the regular rules apply: bring sunscreen and reapply once you're up at the lake, wear a hat and sunglasses, bring more water than you think necessary, and pack loads of snacks. I brought 64 ounces of water and drank about 3/4 of it. Didn't encounter too many bugs other than curious bees at the lake. The only wildlife I encountered were birds (saw an eagle at Echo Lake first thing) and chiding squirrels. Trail rules indicate dogs are required to be leashed but most were off-leash - doesn't bother me but it's something to consider if you don't like dogs.

Some additional navigation tips:
-Once you complete the initial descent and get closer to the water, look out for the primitive log bridge to cross
-Exiting the woods, take a left to follow the access road for about a mile; if you're early in the day, you'll pass the Idaho Springs Reservoir and see trout jumping out of the water to feed.
-Follow the access road past the cabins; the trailhead will be ahead on your right with a no-fee permit station. Fill out your permit and take the trail immediately in front of you, not the unmarked trial to your right.
-You'll pass a second sign indicating that you're entering the Mt. Evans Wilderness; don't worry, you're on the right trail.
-I tried finding the trail to the upper lake and was unsuccessful. I ended up following some of the unmarked trails that go around the lake and wound up in a boggy area just before the lake. Maybe avoid that and do more research on picking up the trail to the upper lake than I did.

hiking
6 days ago

As with many others, this was my first "fourteener" and it was a blast. Couldn't of asked for better weather. Stayed in Georgetown, and got to the Guanella pass parking lot at approximately 0600. Yes, it was already full, however the summit overlook parking lot still had spaces left.I'm a flatlander from northeast Ks. but went prepared. Took my time, with frequent breaks, especially the higher I got. The scramble to the top was probably the toughest part, but by that point you've gone to far to not do it. While many folks, myself included, do Mount Bierstadt because their research reports it as being the easiest fourteener. Be forewarned - if you are a flatlander, even one who is in decent shape, there is nothing easy about trying to breathe at altitude.However do not let that dissuade you from doing this hike, as I can assure you that you will not be alone. Start to finish approximately 6 hours, half hour to 45 minutes on the summit.

My dad and I set out for an ‘easier 14er.’ Headed out around 6:45am and got back to the car around 12:45. We started at Summit Lake and did Spalding to Evans, and then back down Evans and Spalding again (so basically out and back). The hardest part we thought was the return over Spalding after already having climbed across some tricky rocky scrambling to Evans. Did see goats which was the highlight for me, and the view on top of Evans was really beautiful. Would recommend maybe going down the road after summitting Evans to make the trip a little more pleasant.

Great views and a well maintained trail. We drive our Outback up to the trailhead parking lot no problem. Few spots where good driving was needed due to drainage ditches. Wouldn't want to take anything with lower clearance than an outback though. Started hiking at 0830 and saw only a handful of hikers. By the time we were done, the lot was full and the trail was quite a bit more populated. Totally worth the hike though!

I give this hike 3 stars in the summer and 5 stars in the winter. It's a great location, just over an hour from Denver and you get to go through Georgetown and past Idaho Springs which both have fun food/drinking options for post-hike. For summer, the hike is easy/moderate and isn't terribly exciting - ranging from 4 or 6 mi round trip depending on if you're able to take the AWD road or not. People mention wildflowers, but compared to most other hikes in CO, there were next to none. This is a lovely quick hike if you just want to get outside and move for a bit, but isn't particularly photogenic if that's what you're looking for. However, in winter it's spectacular for snowshoeing. We came on a Saturday in April and didn't see another soul til we got to the car. It's more strenuous on snowshoes, so that makes it a little more entertaining. The trees are beautiful in winter and you can't beat walking on a frozen lake.

hiking
7 days ago

It's past peak wildflower season, but there were still some pretty blooms up near the top. Please be mindful that this trail is quite steep and rocky for the first mile and the last mile, so if you're bringing dogs or kids, make sure they have proper footwear (yes-- PLEASE put shoes on your dogs to protect their paws!!). View from the trail just before you hit the lake is gorgeous. Go early to avoid the crowds, we arrived at the TH just after 8:00 AM and snagged one of the last parking spaces. It was windy and chilly up at Herman Lake so bring layers!

This hike packs a lot in 4 miles, forest, meadow, great views throughout and three beautiful alpine lakes. Of course this also make it very popular. While there is not a lot of elevation gain it is over a fairly short distance so the trail is steep and rocky in a few spots. The last push to the top lake is short and up. Keep in mind you will be above tree line most of the hike so be prepared for whatever weather. This is a great hike for those who want a lot of beauty without a lot of mileage.

Wildflowers, snow pack, Alpine lakes! Awesome hike! It is a very busy trail that at times is hard to pass other hikers so come with patience. The road to the upper lot is very rough. AWD for sure with good clearance, but there was a Mercury Milan in the upper lot so maybe a regular car could make it carefully. Bring bug spray and sunscreen!

Load More